Asteroid alert! Gigantic 230-foot asteroid advancing towards Earth at ferocious speed

NASA has raised an alert about a 230-foot wide asteroid could make a close approach towards the planet as soon as today.

| Updated on: Jan 09 2023, 07:08 IST
Asteroid threat looms! 5 asteroids set to buzz Earth soon, NASA reveals
1/5 Asteroid 2019 AY3 - NASA has red-flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2019 AY3 due to its extremely close approach to the planet. The asteroid has a width of 190 feet, making it nearly as big as an aircraft, and will make its closest approach to Earth today, January 4 at a distance of 6.4 million kilometers per hour and is already on its way travelling at a speed of nearly 71074 kilometers per hour.  (Wikimedia Commons)
2/5 Asteroid 2022 YS4 - This space rock is on its way towards Earth and will make a close approach today, January 4. This asteroid is nearly the size of an aircraft with a width of 85 feet. The Asteroid 2022 YS4 is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 2.2 million kilometers at a speed of 24470 kilometers per hour.  (Wikimedia Commons)
3/5 Asteroid 2022 YL4 – This asteroid, with a size ranging between 26 feet and 59 feet, will make its close trip to Earth tomorrow, January 5 at a distance of nearly 1.9 million kilometers. The asteroid, known as Asteroid 2022 YL4, is already rushing towards Earth slower than other asteroids at a speed of 7038 kilometers per hour.  (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2022 YN1 – Another asteroid named Asteroid 2022 YN1 is heading for Earth and will make a close approach on January 6. This asteroid, with a size between 131 feet and 291 feet, is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 19836 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a distance of 7 million kilometers.  (Pixabay)
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5/5 Asteroid 2021 TL – The fifth and largest asteroid, with a size ranging between 183 feet and 393 feet, is named Asteroid 2021 TL and will be making its closest Earth approach on January 9. It will come as close as 5.4 million kilometers, according to NASA JPL. The asteroid is moving at a blistering speed of 30422 kilometer per hour. (Pixabay)
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NASA expects an aircraft-sized asteroid to buzz Earth today. (Pixabay)

Our entire solar system is filled with asteroids ranging in size from a few millimeters to hundreds of kilometers. Asteroids, along with a handful of other celestial objects are the biggest threat to humanity in the Universe. To extinguish life on Earth, an asteroid would have to be approximately 96 km wide, though smaller asteroids also have the potential to cause damage up to some extent. Unlike bigger asteroids which rarely stray towards Earth, smaller asteroids frequently fly past Earth at relatively close distances. Now, another one of these smaller space rocks is expected to make a close approach to the planet as soon as today.

Key information about Asteroid 2021 TL

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office is the watchdog which keeps an eye on celestial objects like asteroids for potential impact with the planet. These objects are termed as Potentially Hazardous Objects if they are projected to fly past Earth at a distance closer than 8 million kilometers. NASA has issued a similar warning about an asteroid named Asteroid 2021 TL which is expected to buzz Earth today, January 9.

In fact, this asteroid is already on its way towards the planet at a ferocious speed of 30422 kilometers per hour. NASA estimates this asteroid will pass Earth at a distance of 5.4 million kilometers. What's concerning about this asteroid is its gigantic size. This asteroid is estimated to be nearly 230 feet wide, making it nearly as big as an aircraft!

Asteroid fun facts

1. Most of the asteroids can be found in a specific region in space. It is called the asteroid belt – a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

2. Asteroids are usually made up of rocks, but they can also be made of metals such as nickel and iron, or even clay!

3. More than 150 asteroids are known to have a small companion moon, or even two moons!

4. Asteroids were considered as planets until the middle of the 19th century!

5. An asteroid was responsible for triggering the extinction of dinosaurs when it crashed on Earth near the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico more than 65 million years ago.

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First Published Date: 09 Jan, 07:08 IST
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